The Red Sox. Einstien, Troy Davis, Springsteen, Talk Radio, and Other Thoughts into Fall

Summers over, Fall is somewhere in the wings apparently intimidated by the oppressive humidity hovering over New England and hang-doggedly waiting for it to depart before moving in (in which case it is an apt metaphor for so much these last months of 2011), and I need to let the following out:

The economy is in the toilet in every possible regard, gas prices are still ridiculous despite the recent rollback, the Mideast continues to be the Mideast, an Asian county has become an economic juggernaut, the President is intelligent and ineffectual, Congress is deadlocked and partisan beyond belief, and the Red Sox are in the throes of an historic collapse . . . .  ah, how very late 1970s.  Will be a complete throwback if only the Sox finish this off with operatic tragedy as in Bucky F*ing Dent (right) – Bill Buckner (Stanley wasn’t covering first anyway, so give it a rest) – Grady Little pulling Pedro ‘we’re going to lose but first we’re going to rip your guts out’ fashion.  If this year’s edition, intent as they seem to be on reverting the franchise to pre-2004 status, don’t find a way to make this crushing rather than merely pathetic, they are a poor imitation indeed of their classic forefathers.

That’s it,   I’m not reading  Hawking, Greene, or any of the dead, smart white guys anymore. . . . I’m sticking to science fiction from here out – they at least got it right: any thing’s possible.  If Einstein was wrong about the speed of light, could it be that God does play dice with the universe?

I don’t know if Troy Davis was innocent, guilty, or anything in between, even after reading a dozen or so articles over the last few weeks, some of them quite even handed.  And isn’t that the point?

On the subject of Troy Davis, the morning after the execution I was listening to WEEI’s morning show – the one I’ve written about previously, primarily because while I like them and they are smart and funny, they have a propensity for never digging deep enough into whatever it is their bitching about.  Sometimes endlessly (i.e., J.D. Drew).  I flipped on NESN just in time to hear one of the hosts go on a five minute rant that pretty much repeated: “he was guilty , there was never any question, he flimflammed liberal idiots into thinking otherwise, he deserved it, he committed an heinous act,  the joke is it took twenty-two years to get around to killing him.”

Well, okay, fine, nice to have such certainty, leads to sleeping well at night I suppose.  But here’s the thing, he went further with, “If an innocent man is ever executed in this country, he’d be famous, everyone would know everything about him . . .but there’s nobody out there like that, never has been . . ”  My first reaction was outrage – pretty asinine to say no innocent man (or woman) has ever been this country, would probably be equally asinine to say no innocent man (or woman) has been executed in the past ten years in Texas alone.

The outrage dissipated relatively quickly and was replaced by what was first awe, then sadness, at his willful, truly scary naivete. Selective naivete at that: this guy was out front against the prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case.

Quick on the heels of this pronouncement and my subsequent, entirely wasteful, angst was this story in the NY Times:


Sentencing Shift Gives New Leverage to Prosecutors

which I read without rancor but more than a little bile.  That this is news now, and in the Times no less, must mean it’s gotten worse since 2005 and my first hand experience with the art form known as plea bargaining.  For the record, my choice, plea before indictment (assuming they could get an indictment) and be in the neighborhood of 30 months on one mail fraud charge.  Wait for indictment, well, gee, maybe two mail fraud charges and double it.  Go to trial, start at 90 months and soar from there.  That’s it on this matter though I will add, lastly, that I didn’t believe the first 50 inmates who told me (lawyer, remember, in prison = father confessor) if they had not accepted their plea deal their wives would have been indicted. After that, it was pretty much a truism, and I had no choice but to believe.

Only three weeks into the new NFL season and I’m already jumping out of my chair, smashing my chest with fist, then sticking it out while making ‘ya, I did that’ motions to the walls every time I complete a normal work related task.  I fully expect that within a month or so I will be celebrating bodily functions and waking in the morning.

Oh, and Springsteen: just watched the HBO documentary, The Promise on the making of Darkness on the Edge of  Town.  The work, professionalism, and quest for perfection – in the music and the message – were overwhelming  . . .  and inspirational.


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